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1 in 5 Americans Has Untreated Cavities: CDC
Date:5/31/2012

es that were not treated, 75 percent of Americans have had some sort of dental work.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Among children and adolescents, 27 percent had at least one dental sealant. In that age group, 30 percent of whites had sealants, compared to 23 percent of Mexican-Americans and 17 percent of blacks.
  • Among blacks, 38 percent had all of their teeth, compared with 51 percent of whites and 52 percent of Mexican-Americans.
  • Among those aged 65 and older, 23 percent had no teeth, but most likely had dentures.

To reduce the odds of developing cavities, Dye recommended brushing and flossing daily and going to the dentist at least once a year. In addition, cutting down on sweets and surgery drinks and eating a healthy diet can also help, he said.

Going to the dentist is important, Robinson agreed. When problems are caught and treated early, it saves money, and for people with chronic diseases such as diabetes it can help avoid hospitalizations, she added.

"It is possible to not get cavities," Robinson said. "It's amazing how many people think it's just going to happen."

More information

For more on dental health, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Bruce Dye, D.D.S., epidemiologist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics; Lindsay Robinson, D.D.S., spokeswoman, American Dental Association; May 31, 2012, CDC report: Selected Oral Health Indicators in the United States, 2005-2008


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